Arriving In Japan

Rightio, well to continue on from our arrival at the airport on the Gold Coast:

As I mentioned previously, we were informed when we checked in that we would need to collect our lougage in Cains and take it over to the International Terminal. They didn’t bother informing us that that was a rather awefully long walk outdoors, in 38 degree (celsius). Because of the short change time I sent PC along ahead to check us in while I collected the bags – BIIIIGGG mistake. 1 girl =/= 2  suit cases. Very unpleasent. Anyway we managed it all alright and got on the connecting flight (clearly, as I’m, ya know, blogging from our hotel in Japan). The airhostes near us during the flight (a japanese girl named Amanda) was amazing. Really helpful with pointing out tips regarding getting around Tokyo. The flight was pleasant and we arrived in good time.

The one thing everyone goes on about when they compare Australia and Japan is the public transport. Australias train system is a mess. It’s slow and infrequent. Japans rail system, in comparision, is quick, frequent and the trains are a hell of a lot more comphertable and cleaner then the Gold Coast <-> Brisbane line back home. The one thing people don’t point out is that the Narita Express actually splits apart part way through the journey with half the train going one way and the other half another. As expected we ended up in the wrong half. The ticket bloke on the train (you have GOT to see these guys, awesome military style uniforms) let us know we would have to switch (quickly) to the back half of the train when we reach Tokyo as otherwise we would end up in the wrong prefecture.

So there we were ready to bolt out of the train, run down two carriage lengths and jump back on. We got some looks from people as we did this – I mean we do stand out, we are each around a foot taller then most of the people we have seen so far. Plus we were running like mad men down a train platform (I think you’re not supposed to run on the platforms.). Anyway we got back on the train did a little celbitory dance (think similar to the ‘I got laid!’ dance from Questionable Content) that we made it. We then sat down and waited 5 minutes for the trains to be uncoopled – apparently there was no need to run or celebrate. Oh did I mention? This new carriage was full of business men, so more strange looks headed our way!

We thought the rest of our journey should be nice and uneventful, surly there couldn’t be any difficulties in the 500m walk from train station to hotel! No one ever mentioned there are like 7 exits from Shinjuku station -.- and google walking directions? Yea not useful:

  1. Take the path to the station ticket gate
  2. Go down the hallway
  3. Go up the hallway escalator
  4. Go up the hallway staircase
  5. Arrive at hotel

It was more like:

  1. Take the path to the station ticket gate
  2. Find youself in the midset of a construction area in pissing down rain
  3. Get drenched
  4. Call friends
  5. Cross street
  6. Turn left and walk down street
  7. Veer to the right
  8. Get stuck behind an old lady at the crossing who doesn’t realise it’s turned green – as a consiquence get drenched further.
  9. Pass a McDonalds
  10. Walk into hotel looking like a drowned rat
  11. Have the nice lady at check in take pitty on you and hand you a washer to dry yourself with as you check in.

I think XKCD has it right about google maps (click image for full size).

So we finally got here. It was around midnight and now we were standing in the hallway talking to our saviour friends who came and rescued us from being lost at the train station. Awesome getting a chance to catch up but I was rather hungry (no dinner yet) and our friends were starting to look rather food like (I think sleep deprivation is partly to blaime here). So our very first night in Japan I broke my No 1 International Traveling Rule. I went back to the MickyD’s and ordered a cheese burger.

It’s time to get ready for our first fun filled day exploring Japan (and we get to see Heidi Tonight!!!! Who’s Heidi you ask? Click here to find out – I love the song that has the youtube vid on that page) so I’ll be back to post again later (probably tomorrow as I will be busy experience Heidi Live Bliss this evening *squeel*).

Signing Off – MCL

EDIT: We just looked more closly at our train tickets from the Airport to Shinjuku. We actually were given assigned seats which would have had us in the correct part of the train. Now I feel really stupid.


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